2011 was an amazing year for hip-hop music. Over 400 EP’s, LP’s and mixtapes were released. Some of hip-hop ‘s major artist released great material but more than that was the rise of new talent who really put out some of the year’s best music. Of course Jay-Z, Eminem, Kanye, Lil Wayne, Drake and Rick Ross were the year’s indubitable stars but artist like Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Tyler the Creator, Jcole and Yelawolf all contributed to making this year 2011 one of the best years in a long time.
As I thought about who had the best album or who was the most influential or who was the rookie of the year, one thing was for certain I couldn’t do this alone, so I enlisted the help of some of my music industry friends to help me out. From, PR, radio, DJs, managers and writers I had them all in one conference call discussing these topics and trying to figure out who made the top 10 albums, rookie of the year, anthem of the year, most influential song and most influential artist.
Here is the break down:
Top 10 albums were broken down into 4 parts, beats and lyrics, sales, number of hits and impact.
Rookie of the year: based on 1st mainstream release (album)
Anthem of the year: based on how powerful was the song across the board (in the country)
Most influential song: based on how the song influence hip-hop as a whole
Most influential artist: based on the contributions an artist had in hip-hop (sales, impact, ability to set trends and standards)
Top 10 albums
10. The Game, The R.E.D Album
9. Wale, Ambition
8. Big Sean, Finally Famous
7. The Roots, Undun
6. Young Jeezy, TM:103
5. Lupe Fiasco, Lasers
4. Drake, Take Care
3. Common, The Dreamer, The Believer
2. JCole, Cole World: The Sideline Story
1. Jay-z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne
Rookie of the Year: Kendrick Lamar
Anthem of the Year: N*gga In Paris, Kanye West and Jay-Z
Most Influential Song: Otis, Kanye West and Jay-Z
After much deliberation and weighing out all he’s done this year, from creating a mega album to running his label efficiently with 3 artist-releasing albums this year to his collaborations with other artist and constantly staying relevant the Most Influential Artist is Kanye West.
Please understand every topic in hip-hop is up for interpretation, what’s hot to you might not be hot to someone else. We fought tooth and nail to get these names and categories right and as accurate as possible. Maybe your list is different than ours and you know what that’s ok too. That’s what makes hip-hop fun, we can debate, argue, debate some more but at the end of the day we are all right and wrong. As we go into the New Year more music will come out and these debate will rise again. Maybe Detox will come out next year 2012, right? maybe? Either way expect a great year with T.I., Big K.R.I.T, Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, Meek Mills and possibly Watch the Throne 2 all coming in 2012.
A special thanks to the people at Soraspy.com, Gifted Elite Clothing, Carolyn Ortiz, Georgette Pierre, Brittny Anderson and to all who participated in the discussion. I look forward to next year and it will be bigger and better. (Shh it might be televised)…
Keep that on the down low though…
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